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Armada Group Top Performing Programmers

For management, it's tempting to want to keep your top performers in their current roles. They're doing a great job; everything's under control. If move them to a different position, someone else will have to take over their job. You'll have to train that person and they might not be as good. It seems better to keep your programmer doing that job.

The problem is, programmers work in a world where there's always something new; most programmers have curious minds and want to try out the new technology. Forcing a programmer to stay in the same job makes it likely your developer will make the decision to move out, and you'll be even less prepared to cope with their absence.

Instead, recognize that retaining your top-performing programmers doesn't mean keeping them in the same role on the same team on the same project in the same department. Focus on offering them challenges that will keep them in your company while giving them the opportunity to learn and grow.

Challenge them.

Let your developers move to new projects with different roles, responsibilities and technologies. Encourage your top individual contributors to take leadership roles or apply their technical insight to solving a new problem.

Develop them.

Help your talent discover and develop all their talents. Assign mentors who can help programmers envision their long-term career path. Offer support for continuing education, and don't restrict company support to training that's immediately applicable at work.

Reward them.

Monetary rewards are important; top programmers can definitely find well-paying work. But other rewards are also important; praise, both public and private, assures developers that their work is both noticed and appreciated.

Despite your efforts to retain top talent, sometimes they'll decide to leave anyway. When that happens, you need an effective recruiting process that will bring in someone equally good. When you work with The Armada Group, you leverage our 20 years of experience. We make sure we understand the role you're filling so the job description will attract the best candidates, we prescreen potential hires who respond to the description, and we help your team interview and evaluate the candidates. You'll quickly stop worrying about the employee who left and start focusing on how to retain the new talent on board.

new to IT management

You earned your promotion because you successfully applied your skills in your previous role, but the management role is very different from a hands-on technical role. Cranking out bug-free code isn't your job anymore; motivating your team to crank out code, making sure they have the resources they need, and negotiating time, budget, and requirements with business users will fill your day. Here's what you need to do to help your team (and you) succeed.

Recognize That Things Have Changed

Sometimes the promotion comes with a new job or a new project, and it's obvious things are different. Other times, you're asked to step into the lead role on the same project you've been working on. That can create a tendency to keep doing what you were doing, and to interact with the team the same way you used to. Don't allow that to happen! Make a conscious decision to refocus your time on business problems, rather than technical problems. You may also need to change how you interact with work buddies who are no longer your peers; you need to create a relationship where they accept, respect, and work towards the direction you give.

Build Relationships

Management gets things done less by sheer technical, analytical, or business skill than by building relationships that allow them to collaborate with others and persuade others to do things a certain way. Don't isolate yourself behind your desk with spreadsheets; attend meetings in person when possible and always introduce yourself to other attendees. If you're a typical techie, your interpersonal skills could use some work, so take classes that help build your ability to communicate on paper and in person.

Focus on Business Needs

You've probably got a specific project you need to deliver, but the way to make the biggest impact on the business is to focus on the business's long-term strategic goals. Be prepared to suggest ways your technical team can contribute to meeting those goals beyond the current deliverable. Business management lacks the understanding of changes in technology that can support different ways of doing business, so take on the responsibility of envisioning and selling the role of technology.

Whether you're looking for your first management position or have mastered the skills needed to work as a senior executive, The Armada Group can help match you to an opportunity that will stretch your capabilities. Contact us to discuss your career goals and learn how our recruiters can help you achieve them.

feeling burned out

There's no question that stress, deadlines, and the constant race to get ahead takes a toll on you. If you're feeling burned out at work, don't let it keep wearing at you. A vacation can help, but there are also things you can do to help you feel better – even when you have to go into the office.

Improve Your Life Outside the Office

You may not be able to change the stressors at work, so take steps to reduce their impact on you once you escape home. Practice meditation or simply deep breathing to help reduce the tension in your body. Try to limit how much work you do from home, so your hours away from the office are a respite.

Talk to Friends

Coping with both the feelings of burnout and the aggravators at work is tough to do by yourself. Get advice and emotional support from your friends and family. If you need to, seek help from a professional. Therapists can help you cope with your feelings, while career advisors can help you resolve work situations that make days on the job difficult.

Sleep More

Turn off your electronic devices and hit the sack. Not only does the light from your phone's screen interfere with your sleep, lack of sleep interferes with both your mood and your effectiveness at work.

Get in Control

Sometimes burnout comes from a feeling that you're struggling to keep up and on top of everything that needs to be done. Figure out a new way of managing your to-do list so that you don't worry about missing something.

Find a New Job

Sometimes the only way to solve burnout is to tackle a new job and new challenges. If you've tried the above steps and you're still worn out at work, maybe it's time you switch jobs. Explore our hot jobs list to find ones that excite you, and then contact us. The Armada Group's experienced recruiters are skilled at matching job seekers to positions that make them happy to get up when the morning alarm clock goes off.

how to manage

Some people shout. Some people whisper. Some people use metaphors to make a point, others appeal to emotion, and others pile on fact after fact to lead you to a conclusion. There's nothing wrong with any of these methods, and all of them can be effective. In fact, if you understand your audience, you can tailor your communications to use the method that will work best with those particular people.

Understand Who You Are Speaking To

If you are speaking one on one with a person you know well, you can choose the style that they respond to best; it's not true that everyone who works in technology thinks like Mr. Spock or Mr. Data. When you speak with a group, you can't match each individual's preferred communication style, and may need to make some assumptions. It's fairly safe to assume that a technical audience wants to hear facts and a logical argument. Managers may also prefer this. Other audiences may need a more emotionally based discussion.

Just the Facts, Please

When speaking with someone who prefers to see the data behind an argument, give them the facts in a logical order. Help them reach the conclusion you want by showing how the facts link together to support their position. Don't bring in extraneous points; keep the discussion focused. Respond to questions straightforwardly. Allow these logical thinkers time to review the facts and reach a conclusion.

Feelings Count

When speaking with someone who's driven more by emotions than simply data, it isn't enough to simply present facts and show how they lead to a specific conclusion. While you can't ignore the facts, you need use stories and present them in a context that shows their impact. Expect and encourage an open, freewheeling exchange of ideas.

Build a Great Team that Communicates Well

Communicating with your team is easier when the team is made up of highly skilled professionals who are good at their job. The Armada Group has a deep database of candidates to match to your open opportunities. With our understanding of our candidates and the requirements of your open positions, you can quickly add top talent to your team. Contact us to get started.

six things your developers hate

Want to reduce turnover on your technology team? You should; it can take months to replace an employee who resigns, and it can cost thousands of dollars to hire their replacement. Those are only the direct costs. There are also other costs that are harder to measure, like the impact on morale when the remaining employees need to take on additional work, and the impact on the business if a project is delayed due to a key employee's departure.

So managers should do their best to keep their developers happy with their work environment to keep them on the job. A recent survey identified the top factors that developers find challenging at work – and not in a good way. Make an effort to eliminate these six factors to retain the employees you need for your projects to succeed:

Unrealistic expectations.

Setting challenging goals is one thing. Setting impossible goals is another. When management expects more from its developers than they can deliver, whether it's an unreasonable schedule or asking more of a technology than it's capable of, the developers know there's no way they can succeed.

Poor documentation.

It's impossible to develop a quality application if you don't understand the business requirements or how the existing code works. Documentation that leaves many unanswered questions, or is missing entirely, frustrates developers. It means they can't start developing the solution without spending a ton of time just figuring out what they're working on.

Unspecific requirements.

Related to poor documentation, unspecific requirements make it impossible to tell what needs to be done to make the end users happy. Developers often read between the lines and guess, only to find out at the testing phase that they guessed wrong and need to redo their work.

Inefficient development processes.

If the team doesn't have efficient tools and procedures in place, developers spend a lot of time on administrative and manual tasks to track, manage, and build packages. That's time the developers would rather spend developing.

Fragile code base.

It's tough to create a quality project on a shaky foundation. No matter what the vision of a new release is, if the existing code is poorly structured, difficult to reuse, and easy to break, developers have to spend a lot of time reworking existing code before they get to the fun part of writing new features.

Changing requirements.

A lot of mental energy gets invested in designing and coding an application, so developers get attached to the features they're working on. When requirements change often, developers have to put that aside and start something new. That can be tough for them to accept.

Of course, even if you avoid all these issues, you'll still have employees occasionally resigning – life happens, after all. When you need to find top talent, The Armada Group takes time to understand your needs and match your opening to the ideal candidates. Contact us to learn how we can help you find employees who'll be happily challenged working for you.

embrace the gig economy by hiring millenials

Millennials came of age during challenging economic times. Many had trouble finding good jobs after school, settling for jobs they were overqualified for or working at internship after internship, hoping to get an "in" with a good company and a good job.

Now, the work habits that were forced on millennials are impacting employers. Millennials don't have the same experiences or expectations of the workplace that other generations had, and employers who want to hire millennials, perhaps to replace retirees of older generations, need to adapt the way they work to appeal to the younger generation.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Millennials don't expect to be tied to their workplace for a 40-hour work week. They've grown up with computer technology that keeps them connected around the clock, wherever they are; they don't see why work should have to me going to a specific place at a specific time. The "gig economy" lets them work on projects in short bursts of time when they have availability, giving them the freedom to pursue personal interests and passion projects. While those positions were initially focused on low-level, menial tasks such as running errands and standing in line, newer gig firm let even grads with advanced degrees like MBAs work on a short-term basis.

In order to compete for workers who prefer that kind of arrangement, firms need to offer flexible work arrangements that extend beyond an occasional "work-from-home" day. This might mean hiring millennials on a part-time basis; to succeed, the part-time schedule has to be desired by the employee rather than an attempt to save on the cost of benefits.

Companies can also consider having their millennials work as internal consultants. Rather than being assigned to a specific department or project, they could work for any department that has need of their skill on a specific project. This has the advantage of providing the employee a broad perspective on the company's operations. By also providing the millennial employee a large number of internal contacts, this helps the employee develop connections needed that help professional growth.

Opportunities for Growth

The gig economy lets workers accept the jobs that interest them so they can develop their interests. Within a company, implementing a formal mentorship program will also appeal to millennials who are focused on career development. Companies also need to present millennials with a clear career path, perhaps through implementing leadership programs. Companies also need to refine their mission statement to reflect the millennial values of work interests go beyond financial success.

The Armada Group's talent database includes the best potential employees of every generation. Contact us to learn how to find the best candidates and how to make your job appeal to them.